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Wbranch has attached these 7 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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Crappy cold day on the river - no rising fish.
Crappy cold day on the river - no rising fish.
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20" Rainbow
20" Rainbow
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Another 20" rainbow
Another 20" rainbow
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My partner with a hot 18" rainbow
My partner with a hot 18" rainbow
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Our rental with our boats.
Our rental with our boats.
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My buddy Petey the Prairie Dog.
My buddy Petey the Prairie Dog.
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One of the few browns I caught.
One of the few browns I caught.

Report at a Glance

General RegionWolf Creek
Specific LocationHolter dam to Craig
Time of Day8:00 - 2:00 and 6:00 - 10:00.
Fish CaughtNot much
Conditions & HatchesCooler than normal. A couple of days were downright cold and raw. Rain all day with temperatures never getting to 60 degrees. Never saw another 90 degree day after July 04. Decent PMD's, good Tricos, virtually no cinnamon caddis.

Details and Discussion

WbranchJuly 27th, 2015, 9:26 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2468
Some days there were very good PMD emergences and other days hardly any. In 2014 the PMD spinners were a major factor and I tied about four dozen #18 rusty spinners over the winter. I caught one fish on a rusty spinner and didn't see very many at all. I did see good numbers of the PMD spinner with the light greenish yellow body and had some good fishing to them. Good Trico numbers but many days the fish just would not eat them. The cinnamon caddis numbers are way, way down. We used to see them emerging throughout the day with huge mating swarms at night. There are so many fewer caddis that the Montana fisheries department (I don't know their real name) have formed a commission to try and figure out what has happened to the huge caddis population that once inhabited the upper river. One day a group of fisheries people were seining a section of river and taking water samples and digging up sections of the bottom to get material for future study. Many guys I spoke to said that they most likely won't be returning due to the lack of caddis. IMO the cinnamon caddis was the most important insect for the dry fly fishermen on the river. Of course there are zillions of pounds of aquatic worms, scuds, midges, and other stuff that will continue to provide plenty of food for the trout. However they just won't be rising anymore because they don't need to.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Feathers5July 27th, 2015, 10:36 am
Posts: 287Nice fish and some nice scenery, Matt.So you didn't catch as many fish as usual because of the absence of the caddis hatch?
WbranchJuly 27th, 2015, 10:48 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2468
Feathers5,

So you didn't catch as many fish as usual because of the absence of the caddis hatch?


Yes, in a very large part, I caught less because there were at least 50% less rising fish than in prior years. Also to be 100% frank I have lost some interest in fly fishing. I still cast well, tie beautiful flies, can made drag free presentations but if the fish doesn't eat my fly within six casts at the most I get bored and move onto another fish. If I'm not catching fish I get kind of grumpy and lose even more interest and sit on the bank and talk to the prairie dogs. My interest level loss is not only on Missouri but throughout all my trout fishing.

I'm hoping I won't be feeling that mood while steelhead fishing this Fall. If I do there is going to be a huge sale of steelhead rods, reels, flies, and other stuff.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRobertsJuly 27th, 2015, 12:44 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Nice report, Matt.

Things do change. Hope the caddis drop is a short term, and natural, phenomenon.
WbranchJuly 27th, 2015, 6:21 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2468
Hi Paul,

Thanks! The fishing may have been less than stellar but I still had a good time fishing with my partner. He is a young guy of 42 and he helps me put my boat onto the car and he helps me get it down to the water if the path is steep. He carries both boats and I carry all the oars, coolers, vests, and rods.

I also enjoyed the company of my two very best friends who I have fished with virtually my entire life. I have fished with one of them for fifty-seven years and the other guy for fifty-five years. We've fished from the Gaspe' peninsula in Quebec for Atlantic salmon to Andros Island in the Bahamas for bonefish and have casted to rising wild trout from the Delaware, to the Big Horn, to the Missouri and literally dozens of rivers in between.

Fishing is fun and hearing a reel scream as line and backing is racing down river is exciting but the camaraderie we share is easily equal to the pleasure I get from catching a trout.

I met the guy 2nd from the left in the rear 57 years ago and the guy front row left 55 years ago.

In the 2nd photo the fellow on my right with the black curly hair is the fellow in the group picture with the gray beard and sunglasses - 46 years later.





Missouri River July 07, 2015



Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfJuly 28th, 2015, 10:23 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2871
Cool photos, Matt. Thanks for sharing these reflections.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnJuly 28th, 2015, 1:43 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2587
This is awesome Matt! All those wonderful memories over the years.

As Paul said above, "Things do change"...I guess even the color of our hair...If we were lucky enough to hang on to it at all. :)

Cycles in terms of hatches etc fluctuate and can wane for a few years for some reason. We had some dry years that messed with the Hex for a couple years. Water had receded from the edges where they camp out, probably killing some. They bounced back.

You and I have discussed the effects of the last two brutal winters we have had here in Michigan and its effect on the fishing.

It's just a drag when you plan a big expensive trip and you watch varmints...For me my side hobby of birding has helped fill in some of the poorer days up north.

Anyway! Great pics...I think we all wish we could of been there over the years...I'll bet there are some great lies being told at night around the campfire!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123July 28th, 2015, 10:07 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2345
"Fish Caught...Not much..."

Are you KIDDING ME???

Very nice Matt, good job getting together with the old gang AND catching some big fish! Looks like a lot of fun from many different angles.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanJuly 31st, 2015, 7:14 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 209
Matt, wonderful pictures, its kind of scary looking back at old photos. My wife and were looking some old pics with my mom and dad recently, and honestly we looked like teenagers when got married. I know the feeling of losing interest in something you have worked very hard at, for me it was duck hunting. I sat out one day in a perfect storm, and almost froze my you know what off, barely made it back to the boat launch. So now I just do a little grouse hunting and lots of flyfishing. By the way I took your advice and got back into steelhead fishing, Im going with a switch rod.I did not do any good this past spring but am looking forward to late fall and all winter.
Thanks, Mike.
Jmd123July 31st, 2015, 9:30 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2345
Mike, good to hear from you. My fishing season has been a bit off this year too, though the few times I have made it out I have at least had some success. Went to the Pine a week ago Tuesday and the biggest I could manage was a 9" rainbow...but of course, what a pretty stream and wildflowers all over the place, plus plenty of action from little guys. Looks like a cooling trend next week so I will try to make it out then and I will certainly let you know how I do.

Again Matt, nice fish and great pics of your old gang, how fun to keep fishing with the same folks for so long!

Jonathon

P.S. Love that last photo especially - the Three Amigos of fly fishing!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MiltRPowellAugust 1st, 2015, 12:30 am
Posts: 106Matt, great photo's. Like how you explained alot of things. Sorry to hear, the interest level loss. But Matt I can see how that could happen. And there's nothing wrong with talking to the prairie dogs. Hell looks ta me he understands ya. But it's another fine trip for ya, back safe & sound.. Think about it, doesn't get any better then that... So what ya speak prairie dog now...I can't.. Woodchuck maybe....
Later.....
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
AfishinadoAugust 1st, 2015, 7:40 am
SE PA

Posts: 67
Feathers5,

So you didn't catch as many fish as usual because of the absence of the caddis hatch?


Yes, in a very large part, I caught less because there were at least 50% less rising fish than in prior years. Also to be 100% frank I have lost some interest in fly fishing. I still cast well, tie beautiful flies, can made drag free presentations but if the fish doesn't eat my fly within six casts at the most I get bored and move onto another fish. If I'm not catching fish I get kind of grumpy and lose even more interest and sit on the bank and talk to the prairie dogs. My interest level loss is not only on Missouri but throughout all my trout fishing.

I'm hoping I won't be feeling that mood while steelhead fishing this Fall. If I do there is going to be a huge sale of steelhead rods, reels, flies, and other stuff.


Hey Matt,

Nice report on the MO. It is a great river. Sorry your trip was the greatest, but you've got to love the scenery and experience out there.

I've fly-fished for a long time as you have, and catching fish is no longer my prime objective of any trip. I find myself sitting back and enjoying the scenery and the day out. Also I get great pleasure in teaching or helping others catch fish. Sometimes just observing the fish or the bugs or wildlife rather than just fishing gives me a thrill. Don't get me wrong, my blood still boils seeing rising fish around me, but there are plenty of others things happening on the river or stream for me to observe and enjoy.

Here's wishing your fishing is successful. Enjoy.

Note: The D River is really fishing well all the way down through the mainstem. I would give it a go right now. The cold water may be depleted in a few weeks. Good luck.

PaulRobertsAugust 1st, 2015, 1:24 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Just great photo's Matt. Wow! What a life of fishing and friends you've had. Thanks so much for sharing with us here. Your reports and advice are helpful and inspiring, not to mention just plain interesting.

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